These light rolls are ideal as an accompaniment to a main meal or for soaking up the tasty last few drops of a rich soup or broth. I have made them with Tipo 00 flour, which makes them light and fluffy.
Because of the choice of flour the dough does not rise as much while resting as a strong bread flour dough. It does still need to rest though, given the yeast time to work.
Use your favourite of either sundried tomato or classic green pesto for these rolls, or make three of the rolls in each pesto flavour, as I have done here.
You can add a few chopped olives or capers in with the pesto as well, depending on the food you intend to serve these with.
If you do not have Tipo 00 flour, then a plain flour (note: not bread or self raising) will suffice but will provide a slightly heavier, denser roll.
- Large bowl
- Dough cutter or knife
- Large baking tray
- Baking parchment or greaseproof paper
- Tea towel
- 300g 00 flour (or use plain flour)
- 4g dried yeast
- 200ml / g water
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 6 teaspoons (at least) of pesto
- Extra flour and oil for handling
- Mix flour, yeast, water, olive oil and salt together in a large bowl
- Bring together with your hands and knead until smooth and shiny. This will be about 6-7 minutes (less time than when using strong bread flour)
- Lightly oil the bowl, and place the ball of dough back in to rest, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise for about 45 minutes until slightly risen (this dough will not double in size as it would if you used strong bread flour)
- Prepare the baking tray by lining with parchment/greaseproof paper
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces
- Roll each piece into a long log, about 50cm long
- Spread a teaspoon of pesto along the length of the roll
- Make a loop round the fingers of one hand, then thread the long end over and under this loop until both ends meet
- Tuck the two ends under the knot and pinch together slightly
- Repeat with the remaining three pieces of dough
- To help, please watch my how-to video or follow the illustrative diagram below:
Alternatively, you can make six plain round rolls (just mix the pesto into each piece of dough while shaping) or six simple knots out of the same amount of dough, just divide the dough into six equal pieces:
- Whichever shape of roll you make, leave them to rest on lightly floured sheet of greaseproof paer on the baking tray for about 45 minutes (they don’t really need covering as the pesto will stop them from drying out/forming a crust) – they will puff up only slightly as most of the rise for this bake will happen in the oven
- After 40 minutes, put your oven on to 210 C fan / 230 C conventional
- When the oven is up to temperature, bake in the middle for 14-15 minutes until the rolls are a warm brown and sound hollow when tapped (this is a little less evident in rolls than on a large loaf, but you will definitely notice)
- Leave to cool, although these are delicious served when still just a little warm